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CBD Oil vs Gabapentin for Nerve Pain

Key Takeaways

  • Gabapentin is a prescription drug for nerve pain, but it may not help in all cases.
  • CBD oil is not medication or a replacement for medical treatment, but it may help alleviate some nerve pain.
  • CBD oil may also help with stress and enhance sleep quality.

Nerve pain occurs due to nerve damage. Such damage may occur due to injuries, or it may occur due to certain health conditions. Whatever the cause of nerve pain, it is exceptionally challenging to treat. As a doctor and diabetes specialist I know that for many patients with nerve pain nothing seems to work.

Although nerve pains are challenging to manage, it is also worth understanding that nerves are very good at regenerating. It means that with the right kind of treatment strategy, most of those living with nerve pain can expect to make a complete recovery.

Nerve pains differ in their intensity. In some, they might cause just mild discomfort, while in others, pain may be stabbing, burning, and very severe. Since all nerve pains tend to be chronic, they cause significant distress, anxiety, and even depression. Nerve pains also disrupt sleep.

Facial nerve pains are pretty common, and they may cause much distress. Quite often, the cause of such pain remains unidentified. However, in most cases, it is secondary to some infection, such as a herpes infection. In a few cases, such pain may be due to injury.(1)

Another kind of nerve pain that is quite common is the one which occurs due to diabetic neuropathy. It might start with a tingling sensation in the hands and feet. However, over time, it may affect different body parts and even cause problems with the functions of various internal organs like the heart and bladder. It is very challenging to reverse and cause significant disability.(2)

CBD Oil Vs Gabapentin for Nerve Pain

Nerve pains are not rare. However, they are very common. There is no single treatment that may work for all. In fact, there are very few effective treatments for the condition. That is why it is a good idea to manage pain with CBD oil.

Unlike inflammatory pain that is treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), these drugs have limited benefit in nerve pain. These drugs only help in mild pains.

However, as the pain progresses, doctors need to use many different medications. They might consider opioids, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure drugs like gabapentin. There are several issues with such an approach. All these drugs have many side effects, and even worse, they do not help in many cases. Thus, there is a need to find novel treatment approaches like CBD oil for nerve pain.

Just take an example of gabapentin; it is an anti-seizure drug, and it is among the most commonly used drugs to treat nerve pain. It is a prescription medication. It may help in a few cases of nerve pain. However, despite its widespread use, it is a controversial medication due to many side effects like fatigue, dry mouth, mood changes, weight gain, headaches, suicidal ideation, hallucination, pancreatitis, and more. It may cause life-threatening side effects.(3)

Gabapentin use for long is quite bad for health. Its side effects are severe and frequent. Very few patients are satisfied with the treatment with this drug. Still, it remains one of the most used drugs for nerve pain, as it is still among the most effective options. For example, opioids often fail to help with nerve pain, unlike gabapentin.

CBD Oil for Nerve Pain

Let us be first clear that CBD oil is not a pain treatment. Nonetheless, there are many reasons to believe that it can help. For example, studies show that CBD may have a role in nerve pains, as it can also help in resistant seizures. Researchers have even identified various ways in which it may help. It not only affects the working of cannabinoid receptors, but it may also potentiate glycine receptors (GlyRs). Of course, these effects are seen at a high dosage, or on persistent use for very long.(4)

CBD oil can be of use in nerve pain, but it does not recommend using it without consulting a doctor. This is because those living with chronic nerve pain are already using many medications. CBD may not interact with some of those medications like anti-depressants, opioids, and more. CBD interactions with medications must be considered before using it for nerve pain.

When using CBD for nerve pain, never exceed the dosage. It is not essentially going to help more. CBD is not just good for nerve pain relief but may enhance sleep, reduce anxiety, and have many other health benefits. It is best to use CBD oil for nerve pain relief. However, those who smoke may also consider other options like CBD vape pen.

To sum up, nerve pains are not rare but extremely difficult to manage. Medical drugs often fail to provide complete pain relief in the condition. Thus, there is a scope for using CBD for nerve pain as a part of the broader pain management efforts. Moreover, CBD may also help enhance the quality of life due to its other benefits.

CBD oil is not a medication and not a replacement for medical treatment. However, I would recommend using it along with other treatments and not in place of medical drugs. After all, Novel Foods are good and safe for regular and prolonged use.

References

  1. Australia H. Nerve pain (neuralgia) [Internet]. Healthdirect Australia; 2023 [cited 2024 Mar 27]. Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/nerve-pain
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [Internet]. [cited 2024 Mar 27]. Diabetic Neuropathy - NIDDK. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/nerve-damage-diabetic-neuropathies
  3. nhs.uk [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2024 Mar 27]. Side effects of gabapentin. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/gabapentin/side-effects-of-gabapentin/
  4. Xiong W, Cui T, Cheng K, Yang F, Chen SR, Willenbring D, et al. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 2012 Jun 6;209(6):1121.
Dr Preet Pal Singh Bhinder

This article was authored by: Dr. Preet Pal Singh Bhinder.

This article was peer-reviewed by Dr M Mansoor Siddique (PhD). Dr Siddique has over eight years of experience working with CBD and CBD products.

Disclaimer: All of our products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. It is recommended to check with doctor before starting a new dietary supplement program. All CBD products sold have less than 0.2% THC content and abide by both EU an UK law.

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